The Lava Lamp Just Won’t Quit

The surprising origins and lasting presence of the Lava Lamp. Despite what you might have thought, it pre-dated the psychedelic era but fit in perfectly when the 60s really took off.

Although they’re still being made today if you have one of the older models or see one at a garage sale they’re valuable to collectors. Of course, you just might like it enough to  keep it to yourself. Groovy, man.

So I went and had LASIK

This is one of my infrequent personal posts, feel free to skip if you don’t care about such things.

Some background first. I started wearing glasses when I was about 10 years old after being forced by my school to do so. Although I was slightly nearsighted the majority of my visual issues were due to astigmatism. Accordingly, I was advised to wear them even when reading. I didn’t quite understand why but it did help. By the time I was entering high school I was wearing them almost all the time.

Fast-forward to 1984. I woke up one morning to discover my glasses had broken for second time in a week. I told my wife that we were going to the mall and getting contacts, which is exactly what we did. I started with soft lenses, tried hard contacts for a while and eventually went back to soft lenses. The hard contacts were bifocal and were very effective but not very comfortable. When I went back to soft lenses I switched to what is called “monovision” – a close up lens in one eye and a distance lens in the other. Not everyone can handle it but it worked for me.

Fast-forward again to the beginning of the year. The lenses I wore were discontinued. I tried a couple of different ones but nothing worked. I hung on with my last pair and contemplated an online search for more.

Six months before that my wife floated the idea of LASIK as a great solution to my vision issues but I was uncomfortable with the concept of laser beams in my eyes and I dismissed the suggestion. But then a friend at karate had gotten it and was more than pleased with the results. I started to change my mind.

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Twitter vows to “improve our policies” after Robin Williams’ daughter is bullied off the network

Twitter can be an interesting place to interact with others. That is, if you’re not female, or black or heaven help you, both.

As Imani Gandy points out in her post on the abuse she’s had to put up on Twitter, there are third-party tools that can help but this is something that Twitter needs to deal with themselves in a more than half-hearted manner.

Phone carriers are fighting the FCC on 911 location improvement

I reported a while back on an FCC proposal to improve the location capabilities in mobile phones to allow 911 centers to get information on a callers floor and apartment in a multistory building. Perhaps unsurprisingly, mobile phone carriers are fighting the proposal on the grounds it’s “too hard” and “too expensive”.

Why can’t they just be honest and admit they don’t want to spend money? Residents of cities, for whom this proposal has the most potential, I guess you’re not worth it.

Is Every Speed Limit Too Low?

File this under Things I Never Knew: The basic rule in traffic engineering for speed limits is the speed that 85% of drivers will not exceed. That’s not always adhered to though, and most limits are set below this threshold. That’s because a lot of people and legislators believe this makes roads safer. But the statistics say exactly the opposite.

Worse than Watergate: New revelations from Nixon tapes

How evil was Richard Nixon? How about prolonging the Vietnam War past 1972 to ensure reelection evil? That’s right, he knew the war was winding down but deliberately chose to not just keep it going but accelerate it a bit in order to make it wouldn’t end before the election.